FROM NORMANDY TO BERCHTESGADEN. The Spanish Republicans in France 1939-1955 by Louis Stein

Faustino Solana’s ‘La Nueve’ Half -Track, “Santander”, nº 410621, entering Paris. Photo by Robert Capa

THE SPANISH GUERRILLAS in the north were not as numerous as their comrades in the south, but their presence was clearly felt in the battles of liberation that began in June 1944. In this theater, however, they were joined by their brothers who fought in French uniforms, those who had joined the Foreign Legion or escaped to England after the defeat of France in 1940. These men had battled General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps and had then prepared for the invasion of France. They were to return to France in mid-1944, help to liberate it from the Nazi army, and then to push into the heartland of Germany itself.

In the summer of 1943, sixteen thousand soldiers, twenty percent of them Spaniards, were activated in Africa as the Second French Armored Division, under the command of General Philippe Leclerc. They were drawn from diverse sources but all had seen considerable action in the African campaigns. Equipped by the Americans, the division possessed the most modern armor. At about the same time General Brosset assumed command of the First French Armored Division and General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny was named commander of the French Army B.1 These units were to become the visible symbols of the resurgence of French military vitality and the instruments through which France would rejoin the contest against Hitler.

Spaniards were spread throughout the ranks of the Second Armored, but were preponderant in the Infantry Regiment of Chad and the Ninth Tank Company of the Third Battalion. Commandant Putz, a French veteran of the International Brigades, was placed in charge of the Third Battalion, and Captain Raymond Dronne commanded the Ninth Company. Apparently, this latter assignment was not considered a prize by the French officers, several of whom had declined it before the selection of Dronne. “To tell the truth,” he wrote, the company “inspired suspicion in everyone, and nobody wished to take the command.” Dronne was finally chosen because he was fluent in Spanish, had spent much time in Spain before the war, and, perhaps most importantly, fulfilled the basic Spanish requirement of having been in the Resistance from the very beginning. The majority of the Spaniards were anarchists, and a number were socialists and moderates. When the Ninth Company landed in Normandy at the beginning of August 1944, there were 144 Spaniards in its ranks; only sixteen survived the drive through France and Germany. 2

Dronne found the Spaniards “both difficult and easy to command.” They withheld their confidence until the commanding officer had proved himself, but once they granted that confidence, it was “total and complete.” They insisted on knowing the reasons for the tasks they were asked to perform, but once they were explained to the Spaniards’ satisfaction and approval, they carried them out with single-minded determination. “They did not have a military spirit,” Dronne said. “They were almost all antimilitarists, but they were magnificent soldiers, valiant and experienced. If they had embraced our cause spontaneously and voluntarily, it was [because] it was the cause of liberty. Truly, they were fighters for liberty.”3

On April 4, 1944, the Second French Armored Division embarked from Casablanca for England. It was not earmarked for the actual invasion of Normandy, but landed in France July 31 to August 4. Almost immediately it went into combat, and on August 7 Andrés Garcia became its first casualty when he was wounded by an aerial bomb.4 The Second Division, which was assigned to a corps commanded by the American general Gerow, began the push on. Paris, General de Gaulle having received the assurance of General Omar Bradley that the honor of first entry into Paris would be given to the division. However, the Americans held up the order for the French to proceed. Instead, American strategy called for enveloping movements, north and south of Paris that would threaten the Germans with encirclement and force them to evacuate the city without a battle. General Dwight D. Eisen-hower expected Paris to fall in early September. General Leclerc bridled at the delay and made incessant inquiries about when he would be given the signal to plunge ahead. On August 21, before Argentan, he received word that the Resistance movement, which had risen in Paris on August 18, was engaged in severe fighting throughout the city. On his own initiative he sent a strong reconnaissance force towards Paris, but this movement was aborted by General Gerow. On August 23 the Second Armored reached Rambouillet, two hundred kilometers from the Normandy coast and only fifty kilometers from the gates of Paris. According to Dronne, at 7:30 P.M., August 24, General Leclerc came to him and asked why his unit had stopped. When told of General Gerow’s order to hold its place in line, Leclerc replied, “It is necessary not to comply with idiotic orders.” He took Dronne’s arm, pointed with his walking stick to Paris and said, “Dronne, go directly to Paris, enter Paris.” The captain replied, “If I understand correctly, I am to avoid any distractions, and to ignore anything I may encounter.” Leclerc confirmed this, adding, “Pass by whatever means you can. It is necessary to enter Paris.” Dronne surmised correctly that the objective of the move was not so much military as psychological. It was designed to raise the morale of the Resistance within the city. It was necessary for the people to see the only French force in the area and to know that they were the first Allies to enter the capital city.5

Lt Amado Granell

Dronne selected the Spanish-manned half-track sections of Second Lieutenant Elías and Sergeant Campos to spearhead the dash. His adjutant, Lieutenant Amado Granell, said the force was composed of twenty-two vehicles and 120 men. At 8:30 P.M., it entered Paris via the Porte d’Italie, where Captain Dronne placed himself at the head of the column. Then it moved rapidly through the streets and arrived at the Hotel de Ville at 9:33 P.M. The first armored vehicles to reach the plaza were manned by Spaniards and bore the names Guadalajara, Teruel, Madrid, and Ebro, according to Granell. Dronne was greeted by Georges Bidault, president of the Comité National de la Résistance, and Daniel Mayer, Joseph Laniel, Georges Marrane, and Leo Hamon, members of the comité.6 Robert Aron’s and Adrien Dansette’s accounts of the entry into Paris have credited French-manned tanks with being the first to reach the Hotel de Ville. Aron cited a tank named Romilly for this honor, and Dansette declared that in addition to the Romilly, tanks named Montmirail and Champaubert drew up to the liberated city hall. Dansette, writing in 1947, gave no credence to the numerous reports of Spanish soldiers moving with the vanguard through the Paris streets. He claimed that these men were really Moroccans and added, in a somewhat arch footnote, “We have there an authentic and excellent example of the manner in which false news is born.”7 However, Captain Dronne states categorically that “half-tracks with Spanish names, manned by Spaniards of the Ninth Company, were the first to enter Paris” and to reach the Hôtel de Ville. At one point, after the lead vehicles took defensive positions in the plaza, Dronne went inside to converse with the Resistance leaders. An immense crowd flooded the plaza, climbing over the vehicles and congratulating the crews. Suddenly, a sniper sent a bullet into the Hotel de Ville. Dronne remarked that when he went outside, the crewmen of the Ebro, freed from the restraining influence of the admiring crowd, which had fled at the first shot, were already in defensive positions against any possible German attack. The movements of the Forces Francaises de l’Interieur (FFI) resisters who flitted about in the shadows, he remarked at another point in his narrative, made the Spaniards restless and vigilant; their long experience with street fighting made them wary of a sudden assault.8 Leo Haman, who rushed out to greet the arriving tanks, talked to their crews. “They did not speak French very well,” he reported, “they were Spanish republicans enlisted in the Leclerc Division.”‘ Lieutenant Granell’s description of the advance group at the plaza noted that the tanks had Spanish names stencilled on their sides.10 Chief Sergeant Jesus Abenza wrote that General Leclerc spoke to the Spaniards. before the thrust into Paris and told them that he wanted them at the head of the column and that they would lead the liberating force. Abenza also recalled that during the passage from the Porte d’Italie to the Hôtel de Ville, the cheering populace had greeted them with shouts of “Vive la France!” When told that the tankists were Spaniards, they cried “Vivent les Espagnols!” (“Long live the Spaniards!”). Several of the tanks bore Spanish republican flags, and when they reached the plaza, Abenza emplaced the first cannon, named El Abuelo (“The Grandfather”).11

Staff Sergeant Miguel Campos, leader of La Nueve’s’ ‘Third Section’, who recruited a secret section of Spanish anarchist defectors from the Foreign Legion. Campos disappeared during a solo mission in December 1944 and was never seen or heard of again.

The insurrection in Paris had been in progress since August 18, and the arrival of the advance party of the Second Armored, followed the next day by the bulk of the division and the American Fourth Division, fueled the battle for Paris. More than four thousand Spaniards participated in the insurrection and were prominent in battles at the Place de l’Opera, Place de la Concorde, Place de la République, the military school, and elsewhere throughout Paris. They linked up, in many cases, with the Second Armored Division and were active in attacking German strongpoints at the Luxembourg Gardens, Senate, and Invalides. In the Étoile district, a Spanish guerrilla named Pacheco took twelve German prisoners in the Hotel Majestic. Later, he captured a number of weapons at the Invalides and distributed them to the Resistance fighters. José Baron, leader of the Spanish guerrillas on the right bank of the Seine, died in the fighting at the Place de la Concorde. Another guerrilla, Trigomas, killed six defenders at the Senate building and appropriated their weapons. Charles Tillon noted the widespread activity of the Spanish guerrillas throughout the city. A group of Spaniards led by a former school teacher, Julio Hernández, occupied the Spanish embassy and replaced the nationalist flag with that of the Spanish republic.12

These actions were part of the continuing Resistance movement in the north of France, which had accelerated with the Allied landings. La Defense de la France detailed almost 500 separate Resistance efforts between April 1 and September 30, 1943, of which 278 were directed against the railroad system. Other missions included destruction of canal locks, telephone communications, munitions depots, and factories. The underground newspaper reported the killing of 950 Germans and the wounding of 1,890. More than 220 French collaborators were killed or wounded.13 In Normandy and Brittany, the Spaniards who worked for the Organization Todt formed many Resistance groups. In Brittany and other areas, Spanish guerrillas blew up five transformers, a railroad station and switching area, and part of an aviation field at Saint Jacques de la Lande (Ille-et-Vilaine). Pedro Flores killed a German official, donned his uniform, and penetrated a movie house that was exclusively for the use of German personnel. He bombed it, with many casualties resulting from his action. On June 8, 1944, Flores was arrested, tortured, and shot by the Gestapo. At Saint-Malo in Normandy, the Spanish workers of Todt destroyed the electrical system in the work area. In November 1943, the Saint-Malo group was decimated by the Gestapo, but the unit was reactivated by a group of Spanish workers who had escaped from the Todt Organization on the Island of Jersey A secret report from the Securité Militaire in Algiers, May 26, 1943, revealed the contents of a memorandum from the commandant of gendarmerie for the occupied territories to the Vichy French ambassador delegate in Paris. The commandant listed numerous acts of sabotage and assassination that had been performed by the French and Spanish Resistance. In Paris, the Spaniards had worked with many French Resistance units, including the Manouchian Group, which was betrayed in February 1944. All twenty-three of its members, including several Spaniards, were shot. Spaniards in the Manouchian Group were responsible for the assassinations of General von Schaumberg, commandant of Greater Paris, and General Julius von Ritter, who was responsible for the recruitment of workers for Germany. The guerrilla Ortuño, after deserting the Todt Organization on Guernsey, formed a Resistance unit in the department of the Orne and harrassed German troops after the D-Day landing. From there his group went to Paris and participated in the insurrection, in conjunction with the Second French Armored Division.14

The Ninth Company was active in many parts of Paris on August 25th. The Germans had set up a number of strongpoints, and fighting went on sporadically until General von Choltitz signed the surrender. One battle may have ended, but another began as General de Gaulle’s forces and the communist-led portion of the Resistance movement jockeyed for control of the city. Another engagement, perhaps not as important, but indicative of the American attitude toward General de Gaulle, took place when General Gerow issued a general order to Leclerc forbidding the French Second Armored Division from marching in the victory parade down the Champs-Elysées, scheduled for August 26th.

Operating, as you are, under my direct command, you will accept no orders emanating from any other source. I believe you have received orders from General de Gaulle for your troops to take part in a parade this afternoon at 1400 hours. You will pay no heed to this order and you will continue to carry out the mission to which you are at present assigned to clean up all resistance in Paris and its neighborhood, within your zone of action.

The troops under your command will take no part in the parade, either this afternoon, or at any other time, except on orders personally signed by me.

Nazi poster denouncing the Manouchian Group of mainly foreign resisters as ‘The Army of Crime’

De Gaulle replied, for LeClerc, that he had loaned one of his divisions to the American command but had a perfect right to employ it in entering the French capital.15 Gerow’s prohibition was disregarded by at least one unit of the Second French Armored Division, but he never pressed the point. Aron noted that the guard of honor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier came from the Chad Regiment of the Second Armored. But he did not say that the unit was the ubiquitous Ninth Company, whose tanks were drawn up before the Arc de Triomphe.16 Thus, the Spanish republicans, who had fought their way from Madrid and Barcelona, across Africa, and into the centre of Paris, now stood at the military shrine of France in the hour of that country’s greatest triumph. The Spanish presence was felt in other ways on August 26th. Lining the Champs Elysées were many trucks with huge messages of greetings from the Spanish Resistance fighters, and across the entire avenue was strung an enormous streamer in the red, yellow, and maroon colors of the Spanish republic.17

The Leclerc Division—the Second French Armored—remained in Paris from August 24 to September 8, when it resumed its march to the east. When it left the capital it contained six clandestine Spanish members, whose mission looked beyond the defeat of Germany to the eventual return to Spain: in the first hours of liberation, six former members of the anarchist Durruti Division who were in the Paris Resistance had met some of their former comrades who were now with the Ninth Company. Sergeant Campos, a section leader, proposed to Joaquin Blesa and five comrades that they join the unit clandestinely, with the objective of recovering arms and ammunition from the battlefields and hiding them for future use in Spain.

They received uniforms, a truck, and weapons. Blesa was certain that Campos had received the unofficial blessing of a French officer for the venture. Campos instructed them in the operation of the tanks and their armament, and this knowledge was put to use when they were called into action during the crossing of the Moselle River. In November, for some unexplained reason, Campos told them to return to Paris. They had already made two trips to cache arms and now, provided with safe-conduct passes, they moved back along the division’s trail, gathering a harvest of hidden arms intended for later use in the guerrilla campaign in Spain.18

Moving toward the East, the Leclerc Division engaged in strenuous fighting along the whole route against a stubbornly resisting enemy. At Chatel-sur-Moselle (Vosges), on September 16, 1944, the Germans launched a strong counterattack directly against the Ninth Company. Federico Moreno assumed command of his section when the com-mander was killed, and he rallied his men to halt the drive. The citation awarding him the War Cross with silver star declared that he had not yielded a single inch of territory despite the ferocity of the enemy The action of the Ninth Company on the Moselle brought exclamations of praise from the French officers who, according to V Echegaray, a member of the unit, lauded the Spaniards for their “bravura, combat spirit, and initiative.” Moreno and Fermín Pujol subsequently received the Military Medal and War Cross with palms for their action in the liberation of Nancy.19 On November 22, after destroying a strong concentration of German tanks and artillery, the Ninth Company and a battalion of the American Seventy-ninth Infantry Division were the first to enter Strasbourg. From that date until February 1, 1945, the LeClerc Division was engaged in extending the Allied line along the approaches to the Rhine River. On January 31 they linked up with elements of the First French Armored Division and the Foreign Legion, which had reentered France in the landings in Provence and Var on August 15, 1944, and moved northward through the Alps. The Spaniards in both units occupied adjoining portions of the line until March 3, 1945, when the Leclerc Division was sent to a rest camp. The division had been in almost uninterrupted combat for eight months. The Third Regiment of Chad had suffered 116 killed, 494 wounded, and 20 missing. Among those killed in action were Lieutenant Colonel Putz and Commandant Puig. The losses inflicted upon the enemy—as estimated by the regiment—were 2,200 dead and 5,870 taken prisoner (in addition to the 20,000 taken in Paris and 9,000 in Strasbourg). Seventy-two tanks, 127 cannons, and 872 other vehicles were also captured.20

Staff Sergeant Martín Bernal, anarchist from Zaragoza

After resting in central France the Second French Armored Division was assigned to attack the remaining pockets of German resistance on the Atlantic coast. Leclerc objected to being sidetracked from his primary objective—Berlin—and committed only two tank regiments. The remainder, including the Spaniards, crossed the Rhine on April 27 and continued the march through Germany One column captured Augsburg and Munich. Another, slicing south, reached Sigmaringen, the Vichy government headquarters in Germany, but were able to seize only a few officials. On May 4, 1945, the Ninth Company approached Berchtesgaden. It encountered heavy German resistance and fields sown thickly with mines. “Take great care,” Lieutenant Martin Bernal told Moreno, “or not a single Spaniard will live to tell what happened.” No casualties were sustained, but when the Spanish soldiers reached Adolf Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest two French units had already arrived. Nevertheless, according to Pons Prades, the Spaniards relished the delight of entering Hitler’s sanctuary as conquerors.21

The Spaniards of the First French Armored Division, with whom those of the Second Armored had linked up in Alsace on January 31, 1945, had also covered much territory during the war. Originally, they had signed with the French Foreign Legion and fought in Syria and Africa. When the First Armored Division was formed, in 1943, they were incorporated into its ranks and took part in the Italian campaign. More than a thousand Spaniards were in the newly created fighting force. On August 15, 1944, they landed at Saint-Tropez, participated in the clearing of the Mediterranean coast, and then struck due north. Their first meeting with the Resistance fighters was at Valence, and Jose Millán Vicente was surprised to see so many Spaniards among them. After the capture of Lyon the First Armored Division liberated Besancon and Colmar (Haut-Rhin) before it connected with the French Second Armored Division. From Alsace it turned eastward and captured a number of German towns. For Millán Vicente the end of the war came none too soon. Together with Enrique Marco Nadal and a number of other Spaniards, he had been captured and placed on a north-bound train. The train, which was carrying a full load of tanks, cannons, and munitions, displayed the Red Cross prominently as it sought to avoid aerial bombardment. Nevertheless, near Nuremberg it was bombed, and Millán, Marco, and four other Spaniards escaped. They hid in a forest, determined to wait for Allied troops. A group of German soldiers, apparently deserters, sought to surrender to them, but the Spaniards, as Millán put it, engaged in “a weird ballet” with their enemies. When the Germans approached, hands in air, the Spaniards melted away and found another hiding place. A few days before the end of the war in Europe they encountered a group of American tanks and finally reunited with their unit. Millán estimated that of the thousand men who began the campaign in Africa, no more than a hundred survived to V-E Day.22

Death sentences passed on 23 members of the Manouchian Group

While the Spaniards of the First and Second Armored Divisions swept through Germany in April 1945, their erstwhile guerrilla countrymen in France had been incorporated into the regular French forces. They were slated to take part in the only all-French battle of the invasion, the reduction of German garrisons bottled up in the Atlantic ports of Lorient, Saint Nazaire, La Rochelle, Royan, and at Le Verdon-Pointe-de-Grave. From 69,000 to 90,000 well-armed, strongly entrenched enemy soldiers had been by-passed in the initial Allied surge toward Paris, but in mid-August 1944 they represented to General de Larminat a splendid opportunity to achieve several objectives with one throw of the military dice. Colonel Paul de Langlade felt that the operation was unnecessary because of the inevitability of Allied victory, but he sensed the reasoning behind de Larminat’s plan. The maquisards, in de Larminat’s view, now represented a potential danger to the new French state and certainly to the rapid acquisition of power by General de Gaulle, who had given every indication of being aware that “an army of guerrillas is always a revolutionary army.” The nationalization of the Maquis would eliminate this danger, but it would also serve another useful purpose. An all-French victory would present to the Allies a national army, disciplined and powerful, thus undercutting any idea of leaving an Allied occupation force in France.23

General de Gaulle accepted de Larminat’s plan, and on August 23, 1944, a decree offered the Resistance fighters enlistment in the regular army or a return to civilian life. From thirty-five to fifty percent of the FFI abandoned their arms; the others donned military uniforms. The Spanish guerrillas were divided on the question. Some felt that the main priority now was the reconquest of Spain, and they hoped to transfer their units intact to the Spanish border and await Allied arms and materiél for this task. Others, who loathed military combat and hoped to return to Spain through peaceful means, left their units. Still others thought that their presence was no longer necessary in view of the existence of the powerful Allied army. In the end, a sizable number of Spaniards enlisted in the regular forces because they felt that their strength would be needed until the very end of the conflict. Among these were the anarchists of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo. The national committee of the CNT entered enthusiastically into the task of recruiting for an enlarged role in the war effort. The Libertad Battalion was expanded to regimental strength under the command of Santos. The Basques also enlarged their Guernika Battalion, with Ordoki as commander. Altogether, about 6,000 Spaniards were part of the 73,000-man force assembled for the campaign to reduce the German Atlantic bastions. General de Larminat was given command of the entire force.24

The assault, originally scheduled for late 1944, actually took place between April 14 and 19, 1945. Most of the Spanish soldiers were assigned to the Pointe-de-Grave sector and opened the attack on April 14. Progress was slow because the German position was protected by marshy terrain, minefields, and three concrete forts that sheltered artillery and machine-guns. The French 75-mm gun had very little effect on the thick concrete walls of the bastions, which, ironically, had been constructed by the Organization Todt. Finally, the Basque infantry took the position after three hours of combat. On April 16, the Second Company of the Libertad regiment captured Montalivet (Gironde) and followed this on April 18 by liberating Soulac-sur-mer and, incidentally, taking a German admiral as a prisoner. By April 19, 1945, the campaign was ended. General de Gaulle reviewed the troops at a parade in Cognac and saluted both the Basque and Spanish republican flags carried by the soldiers. Spanish soldiers earned eleven War Crosses and many other medals during this campaign.25

On May 8, 1945, V-E Day, the war in Europe ended. The Spanish republicans had fought the Germans since 1936 in Spain and Africa and on the western and eastern fronts of Europe. They had fought too for the right to gain Allied support in the liberation of their homeland. Thousands were already anticipating a campaign in Spain, and the guerrilla war there had never really ceased. It was hoped that the new United Nations Organization would throw its weight behind the effort to re-establish the Spanish republic.

NOTES

  1. Pons Prades, p. 362; Vilanova, pp. 371-372; Aron, p. 309.
  2. Raymond Dronne, Le Serment de Kouffra (Paris: Editions du Temps, 1965), quoted by Vilanova, pp. 372-373; Pons Prades, p. 415, quotes Federico Moreno, a member of the Ninth Company, on the figures concerning the original complement and survivors of the campaign, from a letter written by Moreno on July 7, 1974.
  3. Dronne, quoted by Vilanova, pp. 373, 380. Angel, p. 190, quoted Dronne as saying in a 1968 television interview, “My company was composed almost totally of Spanish Republicans, and I assure you that these were men who knew how to make war.”
  4. Pons Prades, p. 370.
  5. Captain Raymond Dronne, quoted by Vilanova, p. 424. Robert Aron skirts the issue of disobedience of American orders at this juncture. He does not mention the role of General Gerow and says merely that General Leclerc, on August 23, “received the orders to march on Paris for which he had been waiting for four years”; Aron, France Reborn, p. 257. See also Pons Prades, pp. 388-389; Angel, pp. 190-192.
  6. Captain Raymond Dronne, quoted by Vilanova, pp. 426-428; Pons Prades, p. 389; Angel, pp. 191-192.
  7. Dronne, quoted by Vilanova, pp. 426-427; Pons Prades, p. 389; R. Aron, pp. 257, 284; Adrien Dansette, Histoire de la Liberation de Paris (Paris: F. Brouty, J. Fayard, 1947), pp. 350, 354.
  8. Dronne, quoted by Vilanova, pp. 428-430.
  9. Leo Hamon, quoted by Pons Prades, p. 390.
  10. Lieutenant Amado Granell, quoted by Vilanova, p. 447
  11. Jesus Abenza, in Montseny, p. 236. V Echegaray, another tankist, wrote in Montseny, p. 242, that two French tanks rolled up to the City Hall after the first Spaniards had arrived. He also noted that the first FFI men who greeted Dronne’s force mistook them for Americans or Englishmen and had to be informed of their nationality.
  12. Angel, pp. 88, 192-193; Gaston Laroche, On les nomment les étrangèrs (Paris: Editions Francais Reunits, 1965), p. 190, quoted by Angel, p. 192; Tillon, p. 541; Vilanova, pp. 279-280. Vilanova, p. 278, wrote that the German commander, General von Choltitz, complained to French Vichy officials about the “great quantity of foreign terrorists who have arrived in Paris.”
  13. Marie Granet, Le Journal “Defense de la France” (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1961), p. 244.
  14. Angel, pp. 66-68, 70-71, 178-182; Pons Prades, pp. 276-279; report from Securité Militaire d’Alger to Office of Strategic Services, marked SECRET 38267, May 26, 1943, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  15. R. Aron, France Reborn, p. 298.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Vilanova, p. 281; Dansette, p. 329.
  18. Joaquin Blesa, in Pons Prades, pp. 408-410.
  19. General order no. 66, October 31, 1944, headquarters of Second French Armored Division, quoted in Pons Prades, p. 401; decision note no. 374, official diary, November 11, 1945. The citation noted that on November 17, 1944, Moreno had again assumed command at a critical moment and led his unit to victory over a numerically superior force, in Pons Prades, p. 403. V Echegaray, in Montseny, p. 243. Echgaray was wounded on November 12, 1944, terminating his participation in the war.
  20. Pons Prades, pp. 405-407
  21. Ibid., pp. 412-414. After the reduction of the Atlantic ports the two tank regiments rejoined the Second Armored Division and completed the dash across Germany.
  22. Ibid., pp. 498-499; Murillo de la Cruz, in Montseny, pp. 230-233; Vilanova, pp. 355-356.
  23. Colonel Paul de Langlade, En Suivant Leclerc (Paris, 1964), p. 383, quoted by Vilanova, pp. 305-306. R. Aron, France Reborn, pp. 430-436. Aron puts the number of Germans in the Atlantic pockets at 69,000.
  24. Vilanova, pp. 305-306. R. Aron, in his discussion of this campaign, in France Reborn, pp. 430-436, does not mention the Spaniards.
  25. Vilanova, pp. 309-310.

 

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